The mosquito Culex tarsalis that can carry the West Nile Virus is getting closer to the Eastern Beaches Area. The first mosquitos of the species have been found as close as Selkirk and Beausejour. My guess is that they are in Cottage Country too, just that nobody has really checked yet.

Though the danger of an infection should not be underestimated, studies have shown that only a small number of people are left paralyzed, and a smaller percentage die. That may sound bad, but is not worse than the mortality rate of the regular flu.

Also studies have shown that even patients with severe symptoms recover fully.

Though only very few of the mosquitos out there that are after our blood do carry the virus, we may have to start protecting ourselves better in future.

Two cases of West Nile have been reported in Manitoba this year.

There is no vaccine or treatment for the mosquito-borne infection in humans. About 20 per cent of those infected have symptoms that range from a mild flu-like illness to in the worst cases, inflammation of the brain — encephalitis — or the membranes covering the brain or spinal cord, known as meningitis.


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